International Energy Studies Group
Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division


Industrial Energy Efficiency

industrial energy efficiency

The IES team provides in-depth analysis of energy demand forecasting, energy efficiency improvement potentials, and energy savings and emissions reduction opportunities in the energy-intensive industries (e.g., iron and steel, chemicals, petroleum refining, cement, aluminum, pulp and paper), as well as some light industries (e.g., food processing, textiles, wood products, printing and publishing, metal processing). Our work includes global modeling and assessment, country-specific analyses such as China, India, and the U.S, and policy and program analysis.

IES has also been providing support to the IPCC industry chapter for the 4th and the 5th Assessment Reports.

Modeling and Scenarios

Industry Sector Energy Efficiency Modeling (ISEEM) is a bottom-up, linear optimization model with technology-rich representations of the energy and raw material flows and production systems of industrial products (Karali et al., 2012). The model was developed by the IES group and identifies the least cost mix of supply and technological options and assess their role in the energy system under different scenario conditions. This framework allows us to project medium and long term energy savings, emissions reduction potentials, and explore energy and environment policies including carbon taxes, carbon trading, regulations, and deployment of efficient technologies. ISEEM has been used to explore the potential role of emerging energy efficient technologies and alternative fuels in the industry sector, and techno-economic assessment and market penetration of emerging technologies.

Sectoral Assessments and Cost Curves

Adoption of energy efficient end-use technologies in the industry sector is one of the key measures for reducing  emissions. Through characterizing energy-efficiency technology costs and improvement potentials, IES researchers have developed and presented energy and carbon reduction cost curves for energy efficiency measures applicable to different sectors and different countries.

These cost curves provide essential input to the construction of energy efficiency scenarios, such as integrated assessment models (IAM). The construction of such cost curves is data intensive and IES has developed over the years a solid database for different countries and sectors that position well the group to undertake analysis of the potentials and costs of CO2 abatement and energy reduction.

CO2 Abatement Cost Curves for Cement Production in India

Source: Sathaye et al, 2011

Policies and Programs

Large energy savings remain largely unexploited in the industry sector due to a number of market and institutional barriers. IES researches work to better understand these barriers and the policies, regulations, incentives, tools, campaigns, as well as additional interventions that help overcome these barriers and encourage investment decisions toward cleaner technologies and practices in the industry sector.

A number of best practices can be drawn from past experience and leveraged to learn from and inspire the design of new initiatives in other countries. IES research on industry energy efficiency best practices aims to share lessons learned and best practices, to show the significance and diversity of interventions, to describe program designs and to inspire policy makers to design their own program most suitable for the local conditions of their country.

INHA University (Korea)
IPCC (International)
International Energy Agency (International)
Jadavpur University (India)
Tsinghua University (China)
Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Research Center of Korea (GIR)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
ClimateWorks Foundations
The World Bank
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
California Air Resources Board (CARB)
Calfiornia Energy Commission (CEC)

Related Publications:


Zhou, Nan, David Fridley, Michael A. McNeil, Nina Khanna, Wei Feng, and Jing Ke. Quantifying the potential impact of energy efficiency and low carbon policies for China In the European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s 2013 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency. Toulon, France: the European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, 2013. Download: PDF (831.42 KB)